Housegirl Themes & Motifs

Michael Donkor
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Motherhood and Loss

Donkor associates motherhood with profound loss through the forced separation, or imagined separation, of female characters. Belinda’s mother gives her daughter away to work for Aunty and Uncle in Kumasi. She then tells Belinda never to return to Adurubaa, and to imagine that she is dead. Mary’s quasi-mother, Belinda, is sent away to work in London after Nana meets Belinda, and their connection is severed by Mary’s death. Belinda’s different maternal figures, Aunty and Nana, comfort her like a mother would at times, but she is transferred between them as circumstances dictate, losing both of them as she travels.

Aunty acts the closest to Belinda’s mother after Mary dies, when she offers to write Belinda into hers and Uncle’s wills. This act is spurred by the devastation of Mary being lost, and enforces the relationship between motherhood and...

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This section contains 1,862 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Housegirl Study Guide
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